Google’s Possum Local Algorithm update
Google recently launched a huge, Local, algorithm update, “Possum”, on 1 September 2016. The main intention of this update was to broaden the local results, and also to deter spam from reaching classification in the rankings. Many in the SEO community are stating that this is the most major update to Local SEO since Pigeon in 2014.
Possum Local update
The name Possum, was devised by Phil Rozek, as a result of the many business owners believing that their business listings have disappeared, when in actual fact they have not. According to all evidence and reports, it implies that this Possum update has effected an impact only in local finders and 3-pack ranking such as local results or Google map results. The chief purpose of this updating procedure is to diversify local results and to prevent spam.
Filtration based on affiliation and address
Prior to the update, Google would filter out the local results by utilising local filters to eliminate sites that shared the same phone number or domain. This would mean that the same website was appearing in the listings on the Google page many times which is not ideally suitable. However, after this Possum update, the results show that the majority of sites are now filtered correctly, and do not appear multiple times on the page.
The searcher location is now important
The location of the searcher now has a very important role in screening the correct ranking results. It’s now possible to view the different results from alternative cities on the same site. Since this Possum update, it’s now even more imperative that the location of the searcher is set to the correct city, to allow the proper results to be displayed.
Local filter operated more independently from organic filter
Prior to the update, Google would filter the website by means of their organic filters, that could affect the ranking in a negative way, but after this update, website owners are seeing a massive increase in their ranking for competitive terms too, even though the URL for their site was a page initially filtered by organic listings.
The best advice we can give is to keep an eye out on your Local search results, and see how it affects your business website listings.